Ford and the Georgia Institute of Technology are partnering to convert a traditional school bus to a hydraulic hybrid that runs on recycled biofuel. The sixteen passenger bus was donated by Atlanta Public Schools and is currently being completed by associate professor of mechanical engineering Michael Leamy and his student team.
The project was made possible by a $50,000 grant from Ford, and was the same amount the company donated earlier this year to a revolving energy fund in Michigan. Part of the project includes a cost-benefit analysis to see if the bus does reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and if the biofuel will save on transportation costs.
Mary Lin Elementary School in Atlanta is set to receive the bus, where students will paint the vehicle green and collect cooking oil from community members that can then be processed into a suitable fuel for the newly upgraded “Green Echo School Bus.”
We reported earlier this year on a competition in Massachusetts where students received a free hybrid bus from manufacturer IC Bus in honor of being the “greenest” school in America. Something tells us some students in Georgia might disagree with that title, but in any case, it’s nice to see schools helping children learn about the benefits and challenges of alternative fuels.